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Utah Travel Guide: The Highlights You Don’t Want to Miss on Your Next Tour

by Caitlin Lamb

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Oct 15, 2023

Whether you’re an outdoor enthusiast, adventure seeker, amateur photographer, or a family looking for a memorable getaway, Utah is packed with things to see and do. The state is home to some of the country’s most incredible national parks, monuments, state parks, and more. Seeing it all in a single visit—or even a dozen visits—would be impossible.

But the luxury group tours from Utah Luxury Tours are designed to help you experience some of the top destinations and attractions across the state. Whether you’re taking on one of our 10 day adventures or a shorter trip focused on experiencing the Mighty 5, our tours help you see both the popular tourist destinations and off-the-beaten path secret spots.

If you’re thinking about booking one of our Utah 5 national park tours, keep reading. This Utah travel guide will break down a few of the top highlights you don’t want to miss on your next tour.

The Narrows in Zion

One of the most unique spots in all of Utah is The Narrows. The Narrows is so named for being the narrowest part of the Zion Canyon. Here, towering canyon walls come together, sometimes shrinking to just 20 to 30 feet apart, as the Virgin River carves its way through the canyon.

Not only does the name apply to the narrowest section of the canyon, but it also refers to the famous trail found here. The Narrows is one of the most unique hiking trails in the country, and perhaps the world. A full hike of this incredible trail means traveling by car to Chamberlain’s Ranch, located outside of the park and providing the only upstream access to The Narrows. From there, you’ll hike downstream, sometimes wading through waist deep water, for 16 miles. Most hikers stay overnight on the trail.

Luckily, you don’t have to be up for this challenging trek to enjoy this trail. Most visitors make their way to Riverside Walk, located at the very end of the road in Zion’s Lower Canyon. After a short, paved hike, you’ll find a short set of steps leading down to the banks of the Virgin River, and the end of The Narrows. You can hike upstream a short way or just splash around and enjoy the incredible view of the entrance to this narrowing canyon.

You won’t have to worry about missing The Narrows during our Utah 5 national park tours. Ask your Utah travel guide to make sure that this Zion highlight is included in your tour itinerary.

Island in the Sky Mesa

The next spot on our Utah travel guide is the incredible Island in the Sky mesa. This incredible mesa rests atop sheet sandstone cliffs that stretch over 1,000 feet above the surrounding red rock terrain. Standing at an overlook above this mesa, you’ll enjoy views that rival the Grand Canyon.

Island in the Sky is located in Canyonlands National Park, which is a part of our Utah 5 national park tours. Getting to the Island in the Sky mesa can actually be challenging on your own. The National Park Service even warns visitors that GPS systems often send visitors the wrong way. This is one benefit of booking luxury group tours—you’ll always have an experienced guide there to get you where you need to go!

The Hoodoos of Bryce Canyon

Bryce Canyon National Park is sometimes overshadowed by its close neighbor, Zion. But this national park is worth a visit all on its own. With its massive natural amphitheater and towering hoodoos, Bryce Canyon is every bit as unique as Zion National Park and is just another of the highlights you won’t want to miss during a tour of Utah.

The national park is home to the largest collection of hoodoos in the world. These unique rock formations look like precariously stacked rocks that rise towards the sky. But they are actually columns of rock formed by millions of years of erosion by wind and water. 

Goblin Valley 

Many of the destinations in this Utah travel guide are located in the state’s famous national parks. But while the Mighty 5 has plenty to offer, Utah is also home to state parks that rival the beauty of many of our country’s national parks.

Goblin Valley State Park is one such destination. This incredible state park is located in Green River, Utah, less than two hours from Moab and an hour and a half from Capitol Reef National Park.

The park gets its name from the otherworldly formations that it is home to. The “goblins” are hoodoos, like those found in Bryce Canyon. Most are concentrated in Goblin Valley, at the heart of the park. There are no designated trails in this massive valley full of goblins. Instead, visitors can wander among them and take pictures of these incredible formations.

Goblin Valley State Park is one of the stops on our 10-day Wonders of the West Scheduled Departure Tours. You’ll find it on the itinerary of another of our luxury group tours, The Mighty 5 Scheduled Departure Tour, as well.

Putting Our Utah Travel Guide to Work

Now that you know the top highlights that made their way onto our Utah travel guide, it’s time to start planning your next adventure. Most of these destinations are featured on all of the Utah Luxury Tours options that visit the state. But if you have your heart set on a specific destination, reach out to our guides to discuss which tour is right for you.

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